From Voronezh Notebooks - Osip Mandelstam

When the goldfinch, in his airy confection,
Suddenly gets angry, begins to quake,
His spite sets off his scholar’s robes,
Shows to advantage his cute black cap.
And he slanders the hundred bars,
Curses the sticks and perches of his prison—
And the world’s turned completely inside out,
And surely there’s a forest Salamanca
For birds so smart, so disobedient.
December 1936

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